Out of the Past
Thoreau
March 9






Henry Thoreau
Henry Thoreau
Poster

Muskrat
Muskrat
Ruddy Sheldrake
Ruddy Sheldrake
Frozen River by Ruane Manning
Frozen River
 by Ruane Manning
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants
Thoreau at Walden
Thoreau at Walden
by John Porcellino

Journal, Volume 5
Journal
Volume 5

Wild Fruits
Wild Fruits
Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript

Walden, or Life in the Woods Poster
Walden, or Life in the Woods
Poster

Our Common Dwelling
Our Common Dwelling
Henry Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and the Class Politics of Nature


Kindle
Kindle
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless



         

Clearing up.
Water is fast taking place of ice on the river and meadows, and morning and evening we begin to have some smooth water prospects. Saw this morning a muskrat sitting "in a round form on the ice," or, rather, motionless like the top of a stake or a mass of muck on the edge of the ice. He then dove for a clam, whose
shells lie left oil the ice beside him.

Boiled a handful of rock-tripe for more than an hour. It produced a black pulp, looking somewhat like boiled tea leaves, and was insipid like rice or starch. The dark water in which it was boiled had a bitter taste and was slightly gelatinous. The pulp was not positively disagreeable to the palate. 

To Great Meadows .
Peter H. says that he saw gulls and sheldrakes about a month ago, when the meadow was flooded. I detect the trout minnows not an inch long by their quick motions or quirks, soon concealing themselves. The river channel is open, but there is a very thin ice
of recent formation over the greater part of the meadows. It is a still, moist, louring day, and the water is smooth.




Saw several flocks of large grayish and whitish or speckled ducks, - I suppose the same that P. calls sheldrakes. They, like ducks commonly, incline to fly in a line about an equal distance apart. I hear the common sort of quacking from them. It is pleasant to see them at a distance alight on the water with a slanting flight, launch themselves, and sail along so stately.

The pieces of ice, large and small, drifting along, help to conceal them, supply so many objects on the water. There is this last night's ice on the surface, but the old ice still at the bottom of the meadows.


In the spaces of still open water I see the reflection of the hills and woods, which for so long I have not seen, and it gives expression to the face of nature. The face of nature is lit up by these reflections in still water in the spring. Sometimes you see only the top of a distant hill reflected far within the meadow, where a dull-
gray field of ice intervenes between the water and the shore.

1854

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